I have a website, so where are my $Millions?

Recently after the conclusion of one of my workshops, one of the participants came to me with questions about their website project. This attendee came to the class because they had developed a plan for a new business, the basis of of which was an informational website where their sole revenue stream was selling advertising off their webpages.  They wanted to know why I didn’t talk more about advertising opportunities from a website?

What kills me about this question and similar questions from website owners is where did this attitude come from that website success is instant?  Back in 2000 when I was working on websites for Fortune 500 companies,  we could launch a site on a Wednesday and have a 1000+ visitors on Thursday.  But think about why that happened?  First of all,  in 2000 it was still a new idea for a company to have a website, so there was a novelty factor that attracted visitors. Second, these companies have a large marketing arm behind them,  using many other channels to let people know a new website had been launched.

Business owners come to me all the time after launching their website and can’t figure out why they have no traffic.  My response is,  what have you done to generate website traffic?  Website traffic is not automatic and it is not guaranteed.  In this world of texts, tweets and tube,  what do you have on your website that is worth capturing someone’s attention?

Before you start thinking about all the advertising dollars you can make off your website,  remember that with most affiliate advertising programs,  you only get paid if someone clicks on the ad from your webpages.  Until you get visitors on your webpages, you have no income.

I have seen many examples of where a website can make a huge difference for a business, of any size.  But I think you need to start with realistic expectations and don’t do this on auto-pilot.  Posting a site and walking away is not good enough anymore.  You as the business owner, the website owner need to get involved and find out what it will take to get visitors interested in your website.

Do you have unmet expectations about your website?  Feel free to post them and I would be happy to continue the discussion.

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